There are lots of farm activities you can use to introduce your students or your child to farm related vocabulary and topics, but my favorite is always through books! Through reading, we can gradually introduce children to new topics, provide visual examples, and give them space to ask questions.
I compiled a list of my favorite farm books. These books are great for circle time, read-alouds, or simply a bedtime story to introduce children to different farm vocabulary. You can also pair these with different activities.
Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle – Want to know where your food comes from? This is a great story for identifying where each ingredient comes from on a farm. In my house, we make pancakes, so we love to read this book before cooking. This book is also great for getting children familiar with nonfiction.
Teeny Tiny Farmer by Rachel Matson – This is a cute story about a farmer driving her truck to the farmer’s market when she gets stuck on a hill. The farm animals come to rescue the farmer. This book is a great segway to a conversation about how we can help those in need.
Giggle, Giggle, Quack by Doreen Cronin – This funny story always gives my students a laugh. In this farm story, a duck tricks Farmer Brown’s brother while he’s watching over the farm.
Click, Clack, Moo, Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin – This one is similar to the book above. In this story, kids are told another funny farm story about cows negotiating with Farmer Brown in order to get the farm products he needs.
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Cow by Lucille Colandro – I love this book for its funny, rhythmic narration about various different farm animals.This is great for reinforcing the names of various farm animals.
Love You Too by Alastair Heim – I love this story because it mimics my husband and daughter’s relationship perfectly. This story is about the relationship between a father and his baby pig. Each page shows everyday activities the pair engage in, such as hide and seek, making pancakes, and reading stories. Throughout the story, the baby finishes the father’s sentence on each page in a “I say __, you say __” manner. I love making the connection between this book and the special people we have in our lives.
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown – This book is a catchy one. It’s perfect for reinforcing various farm vocabulary and animal noises. It’s also another nonfiction book, which is a key genre to get kids familiar with.
The Old Truck by Jarrett Pumphrey – This book is a beautiful story about a farm truck that grows old and stops running. As the truck gets older, we also see a child growing with it. When the child becomes an older farmer, she fixes the truck. These illustrations are soft and peaceful.This is a great book for discussing persistence.
When reading with your students or children, don’t be afraid to stop and ask them questions! Ask them to identify different images, count objects, read the title of the book, or make predictions about what will happen next. All of these skills are important to becoming a competent reader!